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Trees damaged after Storm Ellen

Following Storm Ellen, people may well consider cutting up storm-damaged trees. Operating a chainsaw safely is very risky. Even occasional chainsaw operators should have the specialised Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Watch the video below to know what PPE you need to use.

While protective equipment will limit the extent of the injury you might suffer, safe work practices aim to minimise or eliminate as much risk as possible.

Some typical work precautions you should take when carrying out chainsaw work are set out below:

  • Work in pairs, never alone
  • Take account of possible sudden movements of timber as a result of work being done on it, e.g. due to removing supporting branches from felled trees or release of compression/tension forces when cutting. Remember, dead wood can behave unpredictably
  • Take special precautions when working near overhead power lines. When trees are being felled, ensure that no power line is closer than two tree lengths. If in doubt, or if it is necessary to work closer, consult the ESB well in advance to discuss whether the lines need to be made dead. Do not start work until agreement has been reached on the precautions to be taken
  • Do not climb trees. If necessary, engage a professional tree surgeon who is competent in tree climbing techniques using a harness and ropes
  • Do not operate the chainsaw above shoulder height
  • Leave the site in a safe condition. Make sure that anyone entering will not be at risk from falling trees or being trapped under an unstable root plate

Further useful information can be found here: Operating a chainsaw safely

Workplace precautions

  • Use proper equipment
  • Pre-plan
  • Never work alone
  • Put up warning signs
  • Identify risk zones
  • Allow for poor ground conditions
  • Identify hazards
  • Locate escape routes
  • Power lines
  • Leave a site safe